Everything that could go wrong for the Colorado Rapids did. Three players got hurt and had to be subbed off, a questionable red card put them down a man and by the end of 90 minutes, they were 2-0 losers. A Teal Bunbury brace led Sporting Kansas City to the win in Colorado, putting them well on their way to the Eastern Conference final, with just a second leg back home at Livestrong Sporting Park to see out.
Just 23 minutes into the match, the Rapids were dealt their first blow when Caleb Folan went out after spraining his knee. Before halftime, Kosuke Kimura also went off with a sprained foot. By halftime, the fans were bored to tears after having to watch an ugly first half, but the Rapids were in more trouble because they were down to just one sub and without two starters.
A good takeaway by Julio Cesar opened the door for Sporting's first goal. He got the ball and quickly transitioned into the attack, spotting Bunbury making a run in behind the defense. Cesar slid the ball in for Bunbury and the striker left Matt Pickens no chance with a clinical finish just inside the far post.
Only 10 minutes late, Kansas City doubled that lead and Colorado was sent down to 10 men. Bunbury got in behind Tyrone Marshall, who came on for Kimura, and then hit the ground. The contact was minimal, but it was a borderline penalty and the referee granted it. The real problem was that despite the ball running towards Pickens and Bunbury having no chance to get it, the referee also showed Marshall a red card. Bunbury buried the penalty to make it 2-0 against the 10-man Rapids.
On that same play that saw Marshall get sent off, Drew Moor also sprained his shoulder. He too had to be taken off and the Rapids were in a world of hurt. Not only had they dropped their home leg of the two-legged tie 2-0, but three starters went off injured. Two of those injuries were to defenders and Marshall will also be ineligible for the second leg while he serves his red card suspension, possibly leaving Colorado without anyone at the back as they try to come back from this two-goal deficit. The defending champions could be done.